Benefits of Using a Trapezoidal Flume

You can choose from plenty of flume designs when looking for solutions to your flow measurement needs, but one of the more popular options is the trapezoidal flume. While the trapezoidal flume is relatively modern compared with other designs like the Parshall, there’s still a wealth of research that makes their installation and application easy. Learn all about the numerous benefits of using a trapezoidal flume.

Fits Well Into Natural Channels

Natural channels are often tricky to fit with a flume. In fact, the problem was so severe that a new style of flume was developed to account for the shape of natural channels. That new style was the trapezoidal flume. When water moves through a natural channel like a creek or a stream, the sheer erosive force of the flow will sculpt the land around it in a trapezoidal shape. Trapezoidal flumes are therefore easy to install, and they come with decreased costs as well.

Accuracy Over Wide Ranges

Several flume designs are only accurate when applied to particular flow rates and areas. The trapezoidal flume is more universally compatible, as you can enjoy +/- 3%-5% accuracy over a wide range whether you’re looking for sensitive readings or measurements of large surge flows. As long as you account for the change in resolution in relation to depth, you can still get accurate measurements.


One of the best features of trapezoidal flumes is that they’re self-cleaning. They’re manufactured with a flat bottom to avoid deposits and buildup, and their wide V-shape allows larger solids to simply pass through rather than getting caught or breaking up through the flume. If something does manage to get lodged in the flume, the rapid buildup of water behind the object is typically more than enough to dislodge it and return the flume to normal function.

Resistant to Submergence

Submergence is a force some flumes have to deal with when the downstream conditions affect the flow as it exits the flume. With a trapezoidal flume and its flat bottom, you can enjoy multiple measurement points should submergence leave one compromised. This leads to a high rate of submergence transition, meaning your flume can handle more of a submergence effect before significant changes have to be made.

Reduced Head Loss

Thanks to the flume’s small and flat design, you don’t have to worry about much head loss. In fact, the trapezoidal design reigns supreme when it comes to short-throated flumes, as it’s the best option in terms of head loss. It sits flat on the bottom of the channel and features opening sidewalls so large flows can easily pass through.

Trapezoidal Flumes at Tracom

If you’re looking to take advantage of the benefits of using a trapezoidal flume, Tracom stands ready to help. Our team can work with you to design a custom-fitted trapezoidal flume uniquely suited for your flow conditions. We even offer a collection of additional accessories you can opt for that enhance the functionality of your flume. Contact us today to learn more!

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